December 29, 2011

A year and a half ago since I moved to the California desert, I’ve been to see ten different specialists at the Eisenhower Medical Center in Rancho Mirage for my extreme scoliosis (a severe curvature of the spine I’ve had since birth). Even though I had discs put in my upper spine and neck 14 years ago, my pain increased as well as my tolerance to huge amounts of Vicodin and all kinds of steroids!

The pain got worse in recent years when my right leg started turning around in its socket, making me feel like I was being ripped apart 24 hours a day! All the doctors could do for me was prescribe more pain killers which I refused to take with their mind numbing side effects, so I helped develop a deep meditation to go below my pain level and I never gave up hope.

Five months ago my primary physician, Dr. Lynn Messner sent me to see Dr. Albert Lai the head of Pain Management at the Eisenhower center. When I met the doctor, I felt an immediate psychic connection with him. I asked my friend Allan, who has taken me to every doctor appointment I’ve had so far, if he would mind leaving the room so I could speak to Dr.Lai privately. I knew that Allan and his lack of belief in the Metaphysical and the Spiritual would question what I was about to talk the Doctor about and I didn’t want to deal with any skepticism.

As doctor Lai was reviewing my case on his computer, I felt I was getting weaker and weaker…but I started to feel safe. The voices from the other side that have guided me my whole life started saying things like, “he’s the one…he’s the one who could help you! Soon an echo-y chorale inside my head started chanting…”Ask him to do stem cell therapy… Ask him to do stem cell therapy” 

I took a deep breath I asked Dr.Lai if he would perform the controversial stem cell procedure on me (using my own adult cells). He smiled, and said that it could probably help along with physical and occupational therapy. He also prescribed a top of the line electric power wheel chair, custom-made leg, back, and hand braces then he gave me a cortisone shot in my hip and rescheduled another appointment.                                                    

Over the past few months I’ve had PRP shots (plasma replacement platelets) from blood taken from my arm, purified and injected into my spine as well as more cortisone shots. I’ve physically gone up and down for two or three hours every day at a time every week , with my painful episodes diminishing over time.

Last week I had a minor setback when two of my four therapists had to stop seeing me because I still wasn’t strong enough to even lift the leg brace I was prescribed. That’s when my two occupational therapists doubled their efforts to get me able to at least walk in a walker.

As Joyce was massaging my neck, we determined that this was the source of my problem of not being able to use my hands and fingers which she also massaged. We talked about and even sang all kinds of music from the ‘60s to the present and I suggested playing music during our therapy sessions. Although Joyce went back east for the holidays, she sent her assistant Karen three times this week…who loved the idea of using music!

On our second session as Karen was massaging and limbering up my fingers I clicked onto Lady GaGa’s video of  “BAD ROMANCE”…by the time the vocal started, Karen had me moving each wrist up and down with the music, she laughed when I did a few movements with my neck and shoulders I learned from watching “SOUL TRAIN”. Then I threw a few punches at the air like Muhammad Ali, started lifting my legs up and down and started marching in my wheelchair. I emulated the upper body movement I’d seen in GaGa and Usher videos finishing by standing up and down 15 times in front of my wheel chair (while holding on to my arm rests)…then taking a deep bow with head below my knees to my therapists wide-eyed amazement! 

I couldn’t wait to show Dr. Lai what I was able to do when I saw him for my shot yesterday. I started by moving my wrists up and down and performing the routine I described above (but without music). I watched his mouth drop open as he looked at his assistant Christine. And exclaimed, “I don’t believe it…I’ve never seen anything like this! Less than five months ago you came in barely able to move…and now you’re dancing;”

I thanked him and smiled, as he asked if I ever was ever a professional dancer. I told him, “No, but I was compared to Jackson”

“Michael Jackson?”

“No, Jesse”

We both laughed as he scheduled my next appointment.

(to be continued)  

Copyright 2011 by Artie Wayne

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